The Big Bopper, “Chantilly Lace”


Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson, Jr. (October 24, 1930 – February 3, 1959), commonly known as The Big Bopper, was an American musician, songwriter, and disc jockey, whose big rockabilly look, style, voice, and exuberant personality made him an early rock and roll star. He is best known for his 1958 recording of “Chantilly Lace”.

On February 3, 1959, Richardson died in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa, along with music stars Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, and pilot Roger Peterson. That event has become known as “The Day the Music Died” because it is so called in Don McLean’s 1971 song “American Pie”.

J. P. Richardson was born in Sabine Pass, Texas, the oldest son of oil-field worker Jiles Perry Richardson, Sr. and his wife Elise (Stalsby) Richardson. Richardson had two younger brothers, Cecil and James. The family soon moved to Beaumont, Texas. Richardson graduated from Beaumont High School in 1947 and played on the “Royal Purple” football team as a defensive lineman, wearing number 85. Richardson later studied prelaw at Lamar College, and was a member of the band and

21 thoughts on “The Big Bopper, “Chantilly Lace”

  1. I had to laugh at the memories. At the newspaper where I worked for many years, whenever we got in a wedding announcement which described the bride’s dress of Chantilly lace, we would all break into this song and start dancing. Silly!

    1. Hi I remember those times well. The Hoola Hoop was at a popularity and women were wearing the 20’s return of the Chemise and Sack dresses.

  2. When I did the lights for Shakespeare at the local botanical gardens one summer, this song was among the preshow music. It’s still stuck in my head, years later. laugh

    1. That is so funny! I cannot envision the Big Bopper music with Shakespeare… a combine if the classical era with rock and rolls space age.. haha! 😆 But then again Shakespeare’s performances were innovations that opened for more. Many thanks Willow for sharing back. Have a fun week!💞🍮🍮💞

      1. Yeah, it was a strange combo…even weirder, it was Shakespeare with a golf theme. But I was just there to set up, and run, the lights. Ha!

        1. Hi Willow! I do love your style. Shakespeare is charismatic for any season. Just your being there and involved had to bring about sparks of a unique love. I had a similar experience working with grade school kids, just being there and building a Batman Gotham city set. Then outside came the rain, and the cooks brought in hot chocolate, cookies, coffee and pastries. Yummy! Love is a mystery of givings that return the love. Have a wonderful, festive weekend and thank you for your visit.🍮🍮💞🍮🍮🎶🎭

  3. A great oldie! Your songs make me feel so young. Thank you for your follow and link.

    1. Thank you Gloria, you are most welcome!

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